Do I need a Digital Footprint?
Requiring a digital footprint starts with the understanding of ethics which are moral principles that govern a person’s behaviour. The basis for ethical thinking include following articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) such as right to freedom of opinion and expression and privacy (Rafael Capurro, 2015). Individual users of digital technology should have the right and responsibility to have safe online experience while expressing their own opinions and values through whatever they do. While digital citizens have the right to express what they want they also need to have some understanding of online laws and policies since we represent both the countries we physically inhabit and the online world.
It is all good and well to be good digital citizens however one must carefully manage their digital footprint. Throughout the week 6 lecture, students had to complete a ‘Digital Footprint Self Reflection’ answering questions about our online activities and behaviour on such sites including online shopping, social media and mobile phones. “Do I use language or statements on some of these sites that I wouldn’t use face-to-face?” is a question asking students to reflect on what they put online, what they say on social media and what they record over message. For me, it allowed myself to become aware of my own digital footprint, how much time I spend on social media, what information I put online that my future boss for example might see and making sure my behaviour on all sites is kept the same representing my true self and identity. Are you aware of your own digital footprint?
A real life example is WikiLeaks and the digital footprint left behind. Multiple ethics had to be taken into consideration by journalism such as the public interest knowing the truth instead of lies, failure of contextual accuracy and the reliability of the material obtained and related too (Denis Muller, 2014). Through the motives of the leaker governments were ethically challenged trying to fix the views of their already stamped digital footprint in the public’s eyes.
Overall it is highly important to have a safe and reliable footprint for past, present and future use. “Your digital footprint paints a picture of who you are” allowing for a greater sense of digital citizenship when it comes to the online world (Internet Society, 2016).
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Denis Muller (2014). WikiLeaks, journalism ethics and the digital age: what did we learn? Retrieved from http://theconversation.com/wikileaks-journalism-ethics-and-the-digital-age-what-did-we-learn-28262
Internet Society (2016). Your Digital Footprint Matters. Retrieved from http://www.internetsociety.org/your-digital-footprint-matters
Rafael Capurro, (2015) Ethics and Information in the Digital Age. Retrieved from http://www.capurro.de/lida.htm